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Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments That is quite impressive, Alias. I have only ten books on my presidents list, which I started tracking about 2 years ago. The books are a mixture of books about and by U.S. presidents. Here is a peek at that shelf, if anyone is interested:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...

I wish I had started a journal or list of the books I read early on, but I'm a little slow to catch on sometimes, have only been tracking for about three years.

I own a few of the book you have read, just haven't read them yet.


message 102: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 02, 2010 07:57AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Thank you, Susan.

The problem with my list is it's concentrated around only a few presidents. I love to read about FDR and Eleanor. Lincoln's recent 200th birthday is why there were so many Lincoln books on my list. And there are a few more that people recommended that I would like to read, but won't help my goal to read one book about each president.

When I was at a used book store this past week they had Doris Kearns Goodwin book on JFK. I am now mad at myself for not getting it. It was only $1. I didn't get it because the book was huge. What the heck was I thinking?

Oh, that reminds me, I did read her book on Lyndon Johnson. It was a required book in high school. Thought that was when dinosaurs roamed so I guess I shouldn't count that.

Here is one of the Lincoln books that folks here at BNC recommended.

Lincoln's Melancholy  How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf ShenkLincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness~~Joshua Wolf Shenk


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Tonight I started
Jimmy Carter  The American Presidents Series  The 39th President, 1977-81 by Julian E. ZelizerJimmy Carter: The American Presidents Series: The 39th President, 1977-81~~Julian E. Zelizer

I've only read a few pages, but so far I think I will enjoy this book.

I haven't had much luck with the American Presidents series The few that I tried seemed very dry and tedious. But since each book has a different author, I decided to give this one a try.

I do wish the book had photographs. I really think they can make the book more intimate and engaging. And for people that weren't born or were just kids, it would be a huge help. But I guess the cost is prohibitive.


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments It's the birthday of the 28th president, Woodrow Wilson, born in Staunton, Virginia (1856). He started his career as a professor, became governor of New Jersey, and then president.

He said, "A conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits."
And, "If you want to make enemies, try to change something."

~~The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments I've made it to page 228 of Decision Points by George W. Bush, and I am actually enjoying it more than I expected to. I'm going to have to abandon it for awhile because I didn't finish it during my 3-week checkout period, so I'm going to have to return it to the library and put another hold on it and wait for it to come around again to me. I do want to finish it.


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments I love the library, but hate when I have to return a book before I am done. :(


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments It's my own fault -- I should have concentrated on this book, but I didn't want to read it in big chunks.


message 108: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments I'm glad you are enjoying it, Susan. I was surprised he didn't have a co-author. Not even to make fun of him (which I love to do) but seriously. I really thought, like many do, he would have to have a "real" author help him churn it out.


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments There is some controversy about whether he had a ghostwriter -- some say yes and even telling who that person is, and some say no. I don't know one way or the other. Based on absolutely nothing but my own opinions and conclusions from what I've read, I would think he did have one.


message 110: by Mike (last edited Jan 12, 2011 08:37AM) (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments My favorite autobiography that I've ever read, About Face: Odyssey of an American Warrior by David H. Hackworth, had a named co-author. I read this when I was around 20 and at the time it bugged me he used one. I kept thinking it was not really him telling his story. Or like his thoughts and feelings were interpreted and filtered through the authors' experiences. Hackworth was incredibly intelligent but I've learned it takes a unique type of knowledge to be able to write a coherent book.

I also suspect he had a ghost writer just from some of the favorable reviews I've seen about it. I still want to read it. I'm reading Ben Franklins' autobiography next month. I am looking forward to seeing his writing style as well as the story itself.


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments I don't have a problem with co-authors. There are lots of people who have stories worth telling but are not capable of writing those stories. I do have a problem with ghostwriters. I want to know who really wrote the books I read. I'll have to go check out About Face -- thanks!


message 112: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Susan wrote: "I'll have to go check out About Face"

It's a great read. Really long. He lived such an interesting life. And his ideas about modern warfighting are very controversial. He spoke out against the Vietnam war while commanding a company there. He started as a E-1 and was battlefield commissioned in the Korean war. He ended up with a forced retirement but from my perspective all of his ideas made sense. Towards the end of his life he was a military analyst or whatever fir CNN.


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments Having returned Decision Points to the library before finishing it, I've put a hold on it again. I'm 257th in line, not quite as awful as it sounds because it looks like the library has 92 copies in circulation.


message 114: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Susan wrote: "I'm 257th in line..."

Dang! I know for sure if your library has the book we just discussed above it'll be available right now, it's so old, but like I said it's real long.

I might of already mentioned this here maybe but talking about holds, I put True Grit on hold when the movie of it came out, today I'm 163rd and they have six copies. Bet it was available immediately before the movie came out. I left my library card with a friend in Portland so if it comes up before I get outta this place, which it probably will, they can mail it to me. It's not available in eBook format unfortunately.


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Mike wrote: I'm reading Ben Franklins' autobiography next month. I am looking forward to seeing his writing style as well as the story itself.
-----------------

Oh, I have that on my TBR shelves. Maybe I'll try to fit in in for February.


message 116: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments It's not real long. Amazon had it listed as under 200 pages.


message 117: by Madrano (last edited Jan 12, 2011 11:23AM) (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3157 comments Mike wrote: "My favorite autobiography that I've ever read, About Face: Odyssey of an American Warrior by David H. Hackworth, had a named co-author. I read this when I was around 20..."

My favorite autobiography is The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X. Iirc, the reason the title is put that way is due to the fact Malcolm X was murdered before the book was fully written. Haley completed it.

Imo, this helped make it my personal favorite. The reader had the authenticity of X, from beginning to his change, followed by the sort of update by Haley. I do not know if X could have written as good a book alone but it never mothered me. My feeling is that at least it was written. What if he'd decided to write it all himself & died earlier in the process? A loss for many of us, i think.

deborah


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley is on my TBR list. I've just now finished reading Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years. Mandela was able to live to become a very old man. Your post makes me wonder what Malcom X would have been like in old age.


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Madrano wrote: My favorite autobiography is The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X. Iirc, the reason the title is put that way is due to the fact Malcolm X was murdered before the book was fully written. Haley completed it.
------------

I am totally with you on this book, Deb. I loved that you could clearly see the arc of his life. I liked that he wasn't so dogmatic that he couldn't change. The book also gives the reader a real good feel for that time period.

It's an excellent book that I would put near the top of any all time great non fiction books I've read list.


message 120: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments I never had heard about Haley completing it. Now I want to read this soon. I don't know if making a challenge is a good idea for me. I never know how I'm gonna feel when I finish one book and want to start another. I am going to have to think up a new one with more flexibility. I should of taken your advice, Alias Reader, right off. I'm going to come up with something new. Maybe ten or so books for the whole year and then I can fill up the rest of my time with my whims.

Sorry for getting this topic all off topic.


message 121: by Madrano (last edited Jan 13, 2011 07:33AM) (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3157 comments Mike, i think your experience with reading plans/challenges is akin to my own. My own conclusion is to remember that the plan is a guideline but one needs to be adaptable. By not following the plan/challenge, you aren't saying you'll never read that book, just not when you thought you would.

There are so many books, that to force yourself to read one when you are in a receptive mood can make the difference between pleasant and unpleasant book reading. Don't force it, just know you have a resource of your own goals.

At least this has worked for me in the past. Good luck. As far as book posts, are we ever off topic when discussing books? I think not! ;-) After all, this is a presidential thread & look how many of us jumped on the autobio band wagon! Readers All!

deborah


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Mike wrote: Maybe ten or so books for the whole year and then I can fill up the rest of my time with my whims.
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I find this works best. No pressure.

What I like is when I don't know what to read next, I can turn to my DL (determination list).

Speaking of DL, I am proud to say I am reading one right now, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. I wanted to at least read one DL in January.


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments What I like is when I don't know what to read next, I can turn to my DL (determination list).

That is what works best for me too. I also like to make a list for the year. I couldn't possibly be so planned for each month. Like right now -- I was going along in forward motion when a friend gave me Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan Greg Mortenson Well, that's not a bad thing but she told me that it isn't really a gift and she has other people waiting for it. Any pressure? So now I am reading it in the midst of three other things.


message 124: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Speaking of DL, I am proud to say I am reading one right now, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden."

I beg your pardon


Madrano (madran) | 3157 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "Greg Mortenson Well, that's not a bad thing but she told me that it isn't really a gift and she has other people waiting for it. Any pressure? So now I am reading it in the midst of three other things. ..."

Always a nice/tough thing. You appreciate it, but it also throws a kink into one's reading. I hope you enjoy it enough to make the reading easy.

deb


Susan (Nutz4Books) | 236 comments That loan of a book is a mixed blessing! For anyone who enjoys Mortenson's books (as I did), I very highly recommend Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan. I was forutnate enough to receive an ARC, but it is due out January 25th, I believe. If you are interested in my thoughts, they are here:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/.... It was one of my very favorite of my 2010 reads.
Little Princes  One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Mike wrote: "Alias Reader wrote: "Speaking of DL, I am proud to say I am reading one right now, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden."
------------

I beg your pardon"

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:) LOL I like the song more than the book.

The title of the book comes from a line in the novel by a psychiatrist. Her patient is a girl who is schizophrenic. The girl has a sort of alternative world she creates in her mind that she likes to live in. When she complains to the Dr. that the real world can be painful, the dr. replies, "I never promised you a rose garden."

The famous Lynn Anderson version of the song came out in 1970. The book was published in 1964.


Kriverbend | 28 comments I beg your pardon"

Actually, you should....that song is now going round and round in my head! I've long forgotten the details of book, but the melody lingers on!

Lois


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments Kriverbend wrote: "I beg your pardon"

Actually, you should....that song is now going round and round in my head! I've long forgotten the details of book, but the melody lingers on!

Lois"


And it was that kind of song when it first came out so me too.


message 130: by Mike (last edited Jan 15, 2011 05:36PM) (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments JFK Library unveils large digital archive
By Stephen Lowman

"The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation has unveiled “the nation’s largest online digitized presidential archive,” providing access to a treasure trove of materials related to the 35th president’s time in office. Photographs, official documents, records and recordings, amongst other items, are now available for the perusal of the curious at 
http://www.jfklibrary.org

According to the Library, some 200,000 pages of documents have been put online. There are also 1,500 pictures to look at and 1,245 individual phone calls to listen to.

The announcement was made on Thursday at the National Archives in Washington, DC. In attendance was President Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.

"My parents believed that history is one of our greatest teachers," she said. "As young people increasingly rely on the internet as their primary source for information, it is our hope that the Library’s online archive will allow a new generation to learn about this important chapter in American history. And as they discover the heroes of the civil rights movement, the pioneers of outer space, and the first Peace Corps volunteers, we hope they too are inspired to ask what they can do for their country.”

This month will mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration.

Via: 
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/poli...


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Thanks for the link, Mike. Gosh, 50 years. I'll have to keep an eye on PBS, I am sure they will have programs on him.

the link will come in useful when I read a book on Kennedy for my DL.

I've read a few, but I want to read another one. I could kick myself for not getting the Doris Kearns Goodwin book on the Kennedy's for $1 at a used book store I was in. It was a huge book and I thought I wouldn't want to read something like that. But I like her writing, I should have gotten it. Oh, well. Maybe it will still be there the next time.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 712 comments I really like Doris Kearns Goodwin's writing too. I once heard her speak, at my daughter's upper school, and I swear, she never took a breath for an entire hour!

The school's board of trustees was having a meeting and discussing speakers for the school's 250th anniversary. One member had gone to Harvard and had Goodwin as a professor. He suggested asking her to speak. The board gave him the go-ahead and he took out his cell phone and called "information" and got her phone number and called her on the spot. LOL


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments I've only seen her on TV. She's a good speaker.


message 134: by Mike (last edited Jan 15, 2011 05:40PM) (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Thanks for the link, Mike. Gosh, 50 years. I'll have to keep an eye on PBS, I am sure they will have programs on him.

the link will come in useful when I read a book on Kennedy..."


Here's a direct link to the new digital archives...
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Se...

And to the subject browsing...
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Se...


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments Mike wrote: "JFK Library unveils large digital archive
By Stephen Lowman

"The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation has unveiled “the nation’s largest online digitized presidential archive,” providing access to a..."


I think this is so exciting. I've visited the library a few times and it is so wonderful to be able to see this stuff on line as I am not likely to get to the Boston area again anytime soon.


message 136: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 17, 2011 07:39AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Mike wrote post #110:
I'm reading Ben Franklins' autobiography next month. I am looking forward to seeing his writing style as well as the story itself.
---------------------------
1/17/11

It's the birthday of Benjamin Franklin,born in Boston (1706). Books were hard to come by when he was a young apprentice in his brother's printing shop, but he got hold of an odd volume of Addison and Steele's The Spectator and used it to teach himself how to write. He took notes on each of the pieces, then hid the book and tried to reconstruct the essays from the notes alone. He toyed with the idea of becoming a poet, but his father assured him that "verse-makers were generally beggars," and he turned his attention to the cultivation of virtue and the aid of humanity. He became better known than any of the leaders of the Revolution except George Washington; he signed every document associated with the founding of the Republic, and took Paris by storm when he appeared at court to secure an alliance with France. He invented bifocals and the glass harmonica, charted the Gulf Stream on his way across the Atlantic, and chased tornadoes on horseback. His only weakness was flirtatiousness; when he was in his 70s, he wrote to a Frenchwomen named Madame Brillon: "You renounce and exclude arbitrarily every thing corporal from our Amour, except such a merely civil Embrace now and then as you would permit to a country Cousin."

In 1731, Franklin founded America's first circulating library so that people could borrow books to read even though they might not have been able to afford to buy them. He was the author, printer, and publisher of Poor Richard's Almanac, an annually published book of useful encouragement, advice, and factual information, beginning in 1732. It contains maxims such as "Little strokes fell great oaks," "Plough deep while sluggards sleep," and "Early to bed and early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

One day when Franklin was dining out in Paris with some friends, one of the diners posed the question, "What condition of man most deserves pity?" Each guest proposed an example and Benjamin Franklin said, "A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read."

And he said, "I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first."

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin FranklinThe Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin~~Benjamin Franklin


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments It was 50 years ago that John F. Kennedy delivered his famous line: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

It was part of his inauguration speech, which is considered one of the best presidential speeches in American history. The speech was 14 minutes long, 1,364 words, and it was strongly influenced by Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

It was in this speech that Kennedy delivered these famous lines as well:

"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage — and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."

And, "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
After Kennedy's speech, Robert Frost recited a poem. He had written a poem specific to the occasion, called "Dedication," but he couldn't read his typed copy in the glaring January sunshine, and so instead he delivered an older poem that he had memorized, "The Gift Outright."

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.

Does anyone know of a Kennedy book that they think was well done?


Madrano (madran) | 3157 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Does anyone know of a Kennedy book that they think was well done? ..."

I'm wondering the same thing, Alias. This is an example of something Bobbie mentioned in another thread, date written. Those books too close to his assassination date were more hagiographies than bios but then things switched the other way. Happy medium, anyone?

deborah


Madrano (madran) | 3157 comments JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "I really like Doris Kearns Goodwin's writing too. I once heard her speak, at my daughter's upper school, and I swear, she never took a breath for an entire hour!..."

We saw her at the D.C. book festival a few years ago. What impressed me was that audience members asked her about many other books she'd written and her recall of material/history/facts was remarkable, even though she was there for Team of Rivals. The answers she gave were specific, not vague. Outstanding.

deborah


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments Madrano wrote: "Alias Reader wrote: "Does anyone know of a Kennedy book that they think was well done? ..."

I'm wondering the same thing, Alias. This is an example of something Bobbie mentioned in another thread..."


If it is possible there are TOO MANY Kennedy books. And while I liked many of the authors who were in his administration I felt they were too close to him. There is an interesting book title: Kennedy and Nixon written by Chris Matthews. It is about their relationship from the time they both entered Congress. So that has a particular focus. Chris Matthews did work in the government. It is a fun read but I am not sure if it would appeal to everyone.


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments I heard Chris Matthews saying just the other day he was working on a Kennedy book. I didn't know he already wrote one.


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments And I didn't know that he was working on a new one.


message 143: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 23, 2011 09:05AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "And I didn't know that he was working on a new one."
--------------
That is what I thought he said. However, my brain is in a total fog as I've been dealing with a bad head cold these past few days, so I would take whatever I say with a grain of salt. :)


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 212 comments I have wondered about the book by Ted Sorenson. Anyone read that?

Donna


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments Donna in Southern Maryland wrote: "I have wondered about the book by Ted Sorenson. Anyone read that?

Donna"


Newish book? Old book? I think I read one years ago. If it is the one I am thinking of it was written pretty soon after the administration and of course is pretty laudatory. Sorenson pretty much wrote all those phrases that we now hold dear. I enjoyed his writings.


Kriverbend | 28 comments Sorensen wrote a book about his role under JFK entitled "Counselor." I've only read snatches of it, but it wasn't all praise for JFK as I remember. I always wanted to go back and read it...it's been about ten years now....so I'd better see if I can find a copy.

Lois


Bobbie57 (bobbie572002) | 890 comments Kriverbend wrote: "Sorensen wrote a book about his role under JFK entitled "Counselor." I've only read snatches of it, but it wasn't all praise for JFK as I remember. I always wanted to go back and read it...it's b..."

I don't think that is the one I read. I'll look for it as I do like Sorensen's writing.


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 212 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Counselor  A Life at the Edge of History by Ted SorensenCounselor: A Life at the Edge of History~~Ted Sorensen"

Alias, yes, that's the one I was thinking of. I remember seeing Sorenson doing his media book tour in the last couple of years. I thought that a book written after much time had passed would be a bit more balanced, or mellowed, with time.

Did you all see on the news the other night, as they discussed the JFK Inaugural Speech, the ...........ah, my mind went blank looking for the word! Anyway, who really wrote those famous ASK NOT words.....was it Sorenson, or Kennedy? I had always thought Sorenson, but they had some notes in Kennedy's hand that suggested otherwise.

It's frustrating when I'm lose words like that, friends. I know you'll figure out what I mean. Thanks for your understanding! :o)

Donna in Southern Maryland


Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 8433 comments Chris Matthews thinks he may have found where the famous, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask" line originated.

He said on his show,

"Jack Kennedy attended Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. It's now Choate-Rosemary Hall. The headmaster in Kennedy's time was George St. John. The first page of his notebook contains a portion of an essay by Dean Lebaron Briggs who was St. John's dean at Harvard. Let me read the last lines of that essay which St. John used for his chapel sermons:

As has often been said, the youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask not "What can she do for me?" but "What can I do for her."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-m...

Matthews is writing a new book on Jack Kennedy.


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